Health Insurance Quotes in Valley Stream, NY
Compare Health Insurance Plans in Valley Stream, NY
Health insurance is about as personal as it gets. It is one of the most intimate and particular types of insurance. Plans available in Valley Stream, NY vary in the type and the amount of coverage, as well as the amount of accompanying fees. Generally, plans with lower monthly payments (premiums) tend to have higher co-pays and minimum amount of money that the insured must pay before benefits become active (deductibles), and offer limited coverage. This means that the insured will be responsible for a larger portion of the total bill. Plans with higher monthly installments will have lower co-pays and deductibles and offer more complete coverage. The insurer assumes responsibility for a larger portion of the bottom line.
The primary step toward obtaining health insurance in Valley Stream, NY is to determine what the insured may need in the coming year, since the opportunity to adjust a policy comes at least once a year. History of behavior and health issues along with what will most probably happen in the near future must be reconciled in order to anticipate what care the insured may realistically need.
For example, if the insured is usually healthy and does not have pre-existing chronic ailments, then a good option would be a policy that covers preventive care visits and/or fairly reasonable premiums and deductible to accommodate visits to primary care facilities. If the insured travels regularly or spends a significant amount of time in harm's way, then a good policy for him or her would cover frequent ER visits and regular doctor visits. If the insured suffers from a chronic condition or disease, then a good policy for him or her would cover regular doctor visits along with preventive care and possible hospital visits and medication. Policies that focus primarily on catastrophic situations requiring emergency hospitalization have the least probable premiums. Let MyRatePlan help you find the best health insurance in Valley Stream, NY for your needs.
Evaluating Health Insurance Plans in Valley Stream, NY
One of the primary challenges in deciding what health insurance policy to select is determining the amount of coverage needed for the upcoming year, because healthcare needs can be unpredictable. The most effective approach is typically to consider past healthcare needs, and then use those for an educated guess as to future needs. A consumer who is young, in good health, and doesn't need to make frequent visits to doctors or specialists, will likely be fine with the coverage provided by a low-cost policy. Those with chronic diseases and those who need to visit the doctor frequently for issues will be better off with health insurance that has more extensive coverage.
If an individual only wants the basics, the cheapest health insurance plans in Valley Stream, NY are catastrophic only insurance. These policies work well for those who rarely see the doctor and just need coverage for emergencies. For people who travel often or engage in risky activities, it's important to find a plan that covers more frequent trips to the doctor and even ER visits.
Of course, more coverage will also usually come at a cost in the form of a higher monthly premium. Consumers in Valley Stream, NY who pay more get policies that pay more for their healthcare needs. Every consumer needs to look at their lifestyle, background and health history to find the most affordable option that covers their needs. The best way to go is to start with the basics and add more coverage if it's needed and fits the budget.
Types of Health Insurance Plans in Valley Stream, NY
Many types of insurance plans are currently available in Valley Stream, NY. However, they vary based on convenience and flexibility. Among the most popular plans are PPO, HMO, POS, HRA, MSA, HSA and FSA.
A Health Maintenance Organization, also called an HMO, is a network that requires the customer to choose a primary doctor who acts as gatekeeper. When the customer needs to see another doctor or any type of specialist, that customer must go through the primary care doctor first. The primary care doctor must assess the patient and determine if he or she needs to see a specialist. If so, the primary care doctor makes the referral to the specialist. A benefit of HMOs is that they are more affordable in that they require low monthly premiums, no deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses are reasonably priced. One drawback is that the patient is generally only seen by a small network of doctors, and this is because many healthcare facilities do not accept HMO plans.
Another popular health insurance plan in Valley Stream, NY is the Preferred Provider Organization, also called a PPO. Unlike HMO plans, PPOs generally have a large network of participating providers. The insured person may choose whichever in-network doctor they desire, and specialists can be seen with no referral requirement. Choosing an in-network provider rewards the insured by giving them more coverage to see the in-network doctor. However, going out of network is not a complete loss to the customer, as PPO plans also offer partial assistance for expenses paid to out of network healthcare providers. PPO plans also have drawbacks. While they do limit the yearly out of pocket expenses to the insured, they also require deductibles and co-payments.
A POS, also called a Point of Service plan, utilizes a combination of PPO and HMO services. A POS plan offers a moderately-sized network of physicians as options for primary care doctors. The insured pays no deductibles and pays low co-payments, but only if the insured stays in network. However, the insured must pay a much higher price for co-payments and deductibles whenever treated by an out of network doctor.
In addition to the above options, consumers in Valley Stream, NY, also have the option of purchasing a less traditional insurance plan, such as a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), a Health Flexible Spending Account (FSA), a Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Medical Savings Account (MSA). These four options all require the insured or the insured's employer to set money aside for medical expenses in a tax-exempt savings account. The money is then used to pay for doctors, surgical procedures, prescriptions and other medical expenses. One benefit these plans all have in common is the flexible of how they can be used. Some of the plans even permit the insured to roll the money over and use it the following year.
A person's employment status is a huge factor in determining the type of health coverage offered. Large companies can typically offer a group plan, which is less expensive than a single health insurance plan. However employees are not bound by law to enroll in a group plan.
Unemployed and self-employed people in Valley Stream, NY may choose to buy an individual or private plan. Unemployed senior citizens can get Medicare from the federal government, which provides financial assistance. Some people qualify for Medicaid if they have a very low income. Medicaid is a type of government assistance designed to benefit the poor.
Breakdown of Health Insurance Costs in Valley Stream, NY
When paying for health insurance in Valley Stream, NY, the monthly amount that an individual pays to the insurance company is called the premium. The individual will not be reimbursed for this money, regardless of whether he or she uses that insurance. A deductible, by contrast, refers to additional expenses that individuals are required to pay to the healthcare provider before the insurance company begins to chip in.
Deductibles differ from out of pocket costs, insofar as deductibles refer to the amount individuals are required to pay before their insurance company will help with expenses for a particular purchase, while an out of pocket cost refers to the total amount of medical expenses individuals will have to pay before the insurance company will cover the rest of their expenses. In other words, an out of pocket cost covers nothing until the individuals reach a certain payment cap, after which the insurance company will take over the rest of his or her medical bills for the allotted time.
Deductibles and out of pocket costs usually reset at the beginning of each year. Normally, money spent one year will not roll over into the next, so if an individual spent $1200 out of pocket against his or her $3000 deductible, this will reset to $0 at the beginning of the year, with the $1200 expenditure from the previous year having no impact on the individual's costs. In Valley Stream, NY, however, some plans offer consumers an alternative to this annual reset by putting these out of pocket expenses towards the deductible for the first quarter of the new year.
There are also co-payments and co-insurance, terms that refer to the financial responsibility of the individual patient after receiving medical treatment. If an individual has a $10 co-payment for seeing a physician, this means he or she will have to pay this amount at every visit to the doctor's office. After the co-payment, the insurance covers the rest. Co-payments do not count towards the annual deductible.
Also, some insurance companies in Valley Stream, NY have a maximum lifetime benefit, which sets a limit on the total amount of money the insurance company will pay for an individual person's healthcare. If an individual reaches this limit, the insurance company will no longer pay his or her medical claims.
An individual's coverage options largely depend upon his or her current employment status. Large companies often provide employees with a group insurance plan, one that usually provides employees with a more affordable option than other plans, but isn't mandatory upon employment.
Those who are self-employed or unemployed, however, will have to seek insurance from a health insurance company for private individuals. For unemployed or retired seniors, coverage options are available through Medicare. Likewise, if an individual has a low income, he or she can sign up for Medicaid.
If an individual wants to keep his or her current primary care provider, the person should check to see which of the available Valley Stream, NY healthcare plans are accepted by that physician. On a similar note, everyone should make sure to tell their doctors after changing their insurance company, checking with the insurance company to find answers to any specific coverage questions they may have.
Get a Free Online Health Insurance Quote in Valley Stream, NY
Shopping for health insurance may feel overwhelming, but having coverage is a liberating sensation. Knowing you can protect your health is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your family. So sit down, take a deep breath, and let MyRatePlan help you navigate your Valley Stream, NY healthcare choices. Just give them your zip code and let them do the rest.